Welcome to the next issue of China × Cleantech, February 2019 edition. A new year has come and the news keeps flowing. For our full China × Cleantech history, stroll over to the “Future Trends” section of our website.
Michael Barnard wrote about why wind and solar generation are better at global warming mitigation than nuclear generation. Barnard wrote an assessment 5 years ago explaining why wind and solar should be able to scale faster than nuclear, and last month, 5 years later, he reviewed this assessment and the results in China. Looking at the data, it is shown that China’s wind and solar power produce 2× the electricity that nuclear produces. By 2030, Barnard predicts wind and solar will be producing 4× the energy. He concludes, “It’s irrational to build new nuclear when wind and solar are cheaper, quicker to build, and equal or lower carbon per MWh.” Which is a good takeaway.
Tesla news in China has centered around the Model 3 and Tesla Gigafactory 3 in February.
Kyle Field reported on the Tesla Model 3 making landfall in China (a couple of times), and Iqtidar Ali published about Tesla prices and trims for the Tesla Model 3. The Chinese Tesla Model 3 Long Range RWD was launched for ¥433,000 ($64,300), but prices have been in flux at Tesla, so keep an eye on the website for the latest.
Kyle Field also reported that Tesla has started an energy conservation assessment with Chinese government agencies for the Shanghai Gigafactory. Chinese media is claiming Tesla Gigafactory 3 will actually be completed in the summer of 2019, much earlier than previously expected. We’ll be sure to publish any notable changes to the schedule in the coming months.
Non-Tesla Electric Vehicle News
Maximilian Holland reported that electric vehicles sales in January 2019 were around 96,000, and total vehicle sales dropped by almost 16% year over year while EV sales climbed. Based on the previous year’s sales trends, total electric vehicles sales for 2019 could equal 2 million. Furthermore, fossil vehicle sales in the country have seemingly peaked.
Holland also reported on BYD selling over 28,000 electric vehicles in January 2019 and discussed how changes in China’s new energy vehicle credit policy might impact BYD’s ratio of EV vs PHEVs going forward.
To complete his coverage of China, Holland looked at how electric vehicles could be on track to gain 50% market share in China by 2025, pointing at policy, consumer demand, and affordability all impacting the uptake of electric vehicles in China. Detailing that in 2018 electric vehicles had a 4.1% market share and 2019 is on track for electric vehicles to have a 7.5% market share, went into some of the dynamics behind China’s fast transition to electric vehicles and his forecast for a 50% market share by 2025. Holland broke this all down in a three-part series: Part 1: Introduction and Government Policy, Part 2: Consumer Demand, and Part 3: Ramping Production.
Jose Pontes showed the results of his data collection and analysis of electric vehicle sales data from China as well, first showing that in December 2018, 180,000 electric vehicles were registered. That was the 4th month of 70% year-over-year growth and means that China sold over 1 million electric vehicles in 2018.
Jose Pontes also presented the results of electric vehicle sales data from China in January 2019. The sales figure reached 96,000, which was a 175% year-over-year increase. Additionally, this means plug-in electric vehicle market share was 4.8% of the automotive market.
EV Partner, meanwhile, wrote a breakdown of the sales performance of the top 50 new energy vehicles (electrics, hybrids, and hydrogen vehicles) in 2018, providing interesting insight into last year’s sales.
EV Partner also wrote about 3 electric vehicles from startups/new brands in China that are due for release this year. The first is the DEARCC ENOVATE ME7, which is due in September 2019 and is a luxury SUV. ENOVATE is a new high-end brand from DEARCC which makes affordable, small electric vehicles. Confused? Here are a couple of pictures:
The second vehicle is the SF Motors SF5, which is due in Q3 of 2019 and is also an SUV. CleanTechnica was at the unveiling of the SF5 in San Francisco last year. Here are a couple of new pictures:
The third is the Ai-ways U5, which is expected in Q3 or Q4 of 2019. Again, it is an SUV. Here are two pictures:
For all 3 of these SUVs, the expected average range is (NEDC) of 500 KM (310 miles). As you can see, they have a few things in common.
EV Partner also reported that the BYTON M-Byte will go to market in the middle of 2020 in China, and the price will be around 300,000–400,000 RMB ($45,000–60,000). The car will come with two battery choices, a 71 kWh battery pack with a cruising range of 400 km NEDC (248 miles) or a 95 kWh battery pack model with a range of 520 km NEDC (323 miles).
Kyle Field reported on BYD groundbreaking of a 20 GWh battery factory in Chongqing, China. The factory will have eight automated production lines for battery cell production, but it will also turn those cells into battery modules and packs for the company’s vehicles.
Honda and CATL got into some big gigawatt-hour figures as well, agreeing to a contract of 56 GWh worth of batteries within 7 years.
The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has been supporting the development of battery recycling in China. The article linked above is a breakdown of a number of companies that the ministry has supported, highlighting companies that have already developed battery recycling for car battery packs.
This is an important development, as many detractors of electric vehicles ask, “What about the end of life of the battery pack? Won’t it be thrown away?” This progress shows that we are developing a system for the end of the life of electric car battery packs.
EV Partner also wrote about a report about electric vehicle power battery installations in January. The main takeaway is that 4.98 GWh of capacity were installed, which is a year-on-year increase of about 277%. Many additional details were reported, including news that 101,400 electric vehicles were produced in January.
EV Partner reported that Hainan plans to build 40,000 electric vehicle chargers in 2019. At present, it has around 4,600 electric vehicle chargers. Hainan is an island province of China, a popular holiday destination. The article also goes into a discussion of how recharging an electric vehicle costs half the amount that refuelling an internal combustion vehicle costs, as well as additional details on Hainan’s government plans to encourage electric vehicle adoption.
China’s Creeping Global Expansion
Kandi, a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer that was an early leader in the Chinese EV market, recently received approval for US sales. For many, this is an interesting development since it has long been expected that Chinese EV companies would target overseas markets. How will Kandi do? Who will go next?